I recently read and reviewed novels in three different series by mystery and romance Author Candace Clark. I was really excited to get started on her stories as mystery and romance are two of my all-time favorite genres (put them together and I’m in heaven). Clark also has multiple Kindle Novellas which I absolutely love to have available for those times when I can sneak in a quick hour or so of reading–airplane rides, waiting for appointments and for those nights when I might actually have time for the luxury of taking a bubble bath.
Lone Star Burn: Burning Love (Kindle Worlds Novella)Lone Star Burn: Burning Love by Candace Clark
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Lone Star Burn: Burning Love by Candace Clark is a novella set in Texas—the world of the popular Lone Star Burn Series by Ruth Cardello. It appears to be a spinoff novel that will lead into a new series of Nashville based romances.
There were a lot of characters introduced throughout this story but the main storyline follows Whitney Harris and Silas Shaw. Whitney is a recent grad school graduate who has moved back to the apartment above the garage at her parents’ in Fort Mavis Texas. She’s not excited about her current situation. She hasn’t figured out what she wants to do with her life yet and worries she won’t find the most important things she wants—career and romance—if she stays in her home town. We also quickly learn that Whitney is hiding a broken heart—broken by none other than the hot, up and coming country music star, Silas Shaw.
Silas and Whitney were the perfect couple. Their families are friends, fathers were firefighters together, both are incredibly good looking and to top it off Silas and Whitney share a love for music. So when Silas ran off to Nashville abruptly leaving behind the woman that had been his best friend and lover since high school it crushed Whitney. So much so that she doesn’t know if she’ll ever be able to trust another man.
As you would expect with a novella this story moved very quickly but didn’t feel rushed. Clark did a great job with character development. Family and friends were also introduced throughout which helped to make the main characters more relatable and likeable. There was also enough of a back story that I didn’t feel lost. The chemistry between Whitney and Silas felt real and passionate. If there was anything I didn’t love about this book it would be more along the lines of my own personal dislikes such as interrupting each romantic scene with a detailed description of how they put on protection. Not that I don’t fully support and recommend using protection. I just don’t need that many words of an already quick read dedicated to it. Overall, I highly recommend Lone Star Burn: Burning Love and can’t wait to read about from Whitney, Silas and the crew.
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Welcome to LovelyWelcome to Lovely by Candace Clark
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Welcome To Lovely is the first in a series of mysteries by Author Candace Clark.
Samantha is a beautiful but humble, hard working, truth seeking reporter from Lovely who left the small town for big city living but decided to return to her roots. She’s out to prove she’s a great reporter, not because she’s seeking fame and fortune but because she has a passion for the truth.
Daniel Drake is the hero every woman wants to love. We quickly find out that Samantha and the ruggedly handsome, strong, and smart detective are more than acquaintances. In their work life they can be at odds—a reporter seeking the inside scoop vs the ‘no comment’ detective, however, they manage to work out their differences—in the bedroom. Despite the fact that they could easily try to use their relationship as a way to further their careers the couple manage to respect professional boundaries.
While there is the excitement of their hot new romance to spice up the book, the core of the story is really the murder mystery. A ‘devil’ has come to Lovely forcing the close knit community to double check the locks on their doors, arm themselves with handguns and high tech security systems, and demand justice for their lost daughter, poor Emily Teller.
The story is very fast paced without a dull moment. We meet several interesting characters throughout the tale including Samantha’s awkward cameraman Jimmy, the sweet ‘gold-digging’ Minnie, the arrogant prosecutor Christopher and the local beauty, Rebecca. The hunt for Emily’s murderer takes several twists and turns along the way and, as every good mystery should, comes dangerously close to home for our main characters. Welcome To Lovely keeps readers guessing until the very end.
The mystery was fantastic and I devoured it. If I had any comment on what I felt a little longing for by the end it would have been more of a development or perhaps an explanation of the relationship of Samantha and Daniel. They were both local to Lovely but it felt like they didn’t know each other prior to their love affair. In the end we don’t really know much about either one of their back stories but I do want to learn more. I’m hopeful that was Candace Clark’s way of hinting that there will be more to come of Samantha and Daniel. I will definitely be reading the second installment of the Lovely Mystery series and I highly recommend this novel to those that are looking for a great murder mystery with a hint of romance.
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Dare To Love Series: Daring to Begin Again (Kindle Worlds Novella)Dare To Love Series: Daring to Begin Again by Candace Clark
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Daring to Begin Again is a stand-alone novella from the Daring to Love series by Candace Clark. The whirlwind love story begins at a lovely French cafe where the beautiful and fashion forward Renee Gavel, an up and coming interior designer, bares her soul to the sweet owner, Richard. Renee feels alone in this world, first losing her Grandpere to Alzheimer’s and now hurting from the very recent loss of her dear Grandmere.. She is trying to move on and heal but doesn’t know if her heart will ever be able to love again. She is hoping the excitement and challenge of her new position will help. As fate would have it our rich and handsome hero, Marshall Mann also frequents the coffee shop and is immediately drawn to Renee. Marshall is also in pain and alone having lost his beloved mother. Now his father is lost—to Alzheimer’s. A twist to the story is that Marshall is the owner of the firm that Renee is starting to work for. While not her direct supervisor he is essentially her boss. The story continues from there to chronicle their physical and emotional attraction for each other as well as their attempt at keeping their work relationship professional.
I did enjoy both of these characters and truly felt the pain they both were in from their losses. Renee is a smart, funny respectable woman and Marshall was likeable too despite the initial rich guy “I can get whatever I want” persona. I have to admit I was a bit distracted by the approach Marshall took with Renee in the first part of the novella as I kept picturing the sexual harassment suit that was going to come his way through human resources. From there, I was able to relax and enjoy the story. I would recommend this story for those looking for a quick read and will consider checking out other stories from Clark’s Daring to Love series.